A sign marking the Allenby Bridge crossing.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Israeli authorities on Thursday barred a senior Fatah official from leaving the West Bank over the Allenby Bridge, Palestinian sources said.
The sources said that Sultan Abu al-Einein, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and a former Fatah security commander in Lebanon, was held for five hours at the bridge before being told to return to Ramallah. Last month, Israel also revoked his VIP card.
Over the past few years, a number of top Fatah officials have also lost their Israeli-issued VIP cards for their role in incitement against Israel.
Abu al-Einein, who is closely associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has repeatedly praised Palestinian attacks against Israelis. He had also called for executing Palestinians who sell land to Jews.
The Fatah official strongly condemned the travel ban, dubbing it a form of “terrorism” against Palestinians.
“We didn’t make sacrifices for 50 years in order to receive permission from the occupation to travel,” Abu al-Einein said. “This terrorism won’t scare even a Palestinian child.”
He said that the decision to bar him from leaving the West Bank was aimed at sending a message to the Palestinians that they need to keep their mouths shut. “They don’t want us to shout,” he added.
Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh also condemned the brief detention of Abu al-Einein at Allenby Bridge, saying it was in the context of “collective punishment” of Palestinians.
The spokesman claimed that the latest measure against the senior Fatah official was a failed attempt to “blackmail and pressure” the Palestinian leadership.